Angelina has been spending time on and off at the Friendship Inn for years, but it has been since connecting more deeply with the staff that she has been spending more time at the Inn. Sandy Stack built a relationship with Angelina over the years, both in the role of Family Worker and Executive Director. Sandy’s friendship prompting Angelina to reflect, “Sandy has always been there.” She also noticed that the rest of the staff cared about her too, that they saw her as a person worth noticing, even in the midst of her struggle with addiction. The relationships that Angelina built with the staff meant that she believed them when recently Sandy and the other staff spoke into Angelina’s life, letting Angelina know there was more to life than her addiction.
Looking back, Angelina sees her friendships with Sandy and other staff members and she notices the tough love that pulled her through. “Sandy saw that I could do better, she saw my potential and she gave me hope. I can talk to any of the staff, I’ve started to trust them, and I have never trusted people in my life.”
Now, as Angelina celebrates the increasing days and weeks sober, she has not only changed her behaviour, but also her outlook. She says the turning point came after she was off the drugs, she decided she needed to change her mindset. She no longer wanted to be a negative person, but to see the brighter side of life. Her changed mindset has impacted how she is relating to people. Now she wants to help other people, and to mend relationships with kind words and apologies; treating people like family.
Angelina is also a willing helper around the dining room at the Friendship Inn. She loves interacting with the people and chatting with them. She takes care of the elders and moms, helping the floor staff to bring them their tray of food or cup of coffee.
Spending time at the Friendship Inn has provided Angelina a place to encourage other people, too. She knows the struggles, so when people are upset or hurt or scared, she can offer encouragement, she can “speak life” into the dark places. Angelina has many stories already of people who she has been encouraging.
Today Angelina has hope for the future, and is looking forward to spending more time with her friends at the Friendship Inn. “Today I see myself as a changed person. I am happy to be alive today.” She even has a sense of meaning, feeling called to reach out to others who are in the place where she has been, particularly those who are living on the streets. All the staff at the Friendship Inn are so happy to see Angelina doing better, and we are looking forward to continued friendship!